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So in this lesson we are going to talk about ventricular Fibrillation or V-Fib. It is a very important rhythm to understand because patients in V-fib are in cardiac arrest and we need to do something immediately or they will die! When you see this rhythm, they will go asystole if we don’t treat it. So let’s talk about V-fib.
So in ventricular fibrillation the ventricles are quivering and absolutely no cardiac output there is usually no pulse. So since the ventricles are just sitting there quivering, they are not contracting, there is absolutely no cardiac output and no pulse. So CPR must be initiated immediately. This rhythm is very common in patients that are having a heart attack or have severe coronary artery disease. If left untreated, people will go into asystole and just die. Let’s talk about the characteristics for v-fib.
It’s pretty simple to do cause there is not much to it! The rhythm is irregular, remember the heart is erratically quivering, there is no way to measure a heart rate, there are no P waves so there is not a P to QRS ratio, the PR interval is not measurable and you cannot really count the QRS complex. There is no QRS complex since the heart is just quivering it is not measurable. In step 6, it is obviously V-fib. It is one of those rhythms that you need to make a jump for it and you need to prepare to start CPR, bring the defibrillator and call a code.
So people in V-fib have no cardiac output they are in cardiac arrest, they are dying! The priority nursing interventions are to follow the ACLS guidelines, confirm there is not a pulse and start CPR right away. Defibrillate as soon as possible, it is the only chance they have of going into a normal sinus rhythm. Epinephrine every 3-5 minutes and then Amiodarone bolus and drip. However early defibrillation is the best treatment. So as soon as you see this rhythm, you start CPR, call a code, defibrillate them and give meds and hopefully you will bring the patients back.
So the key points to remember from this lesson are the abnormalities regarding Ventricular fibrillation. The ventricles are quivering and fibrillating, there is no cardiac output so the patients in V-fib are in cardiac arrest. Nursing interventions are to follow the ACLS guidelines immediately and start CPR, defibrillate asap and administer medications. This cycle is repeated every 2 minutes or until the code is called and CPR is terminated or hopefully the patient has regained a pulse. V-fib is not one of those rhythms that you wait to see if this is really happening, you need to take action right away!
I hope you guys have enjoyed this quick lesson regarding V-Fib and feel more comfortable knowing what to do when you see this rhythm. Make sure you check out all of the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best self today! And, as always, happy nursing!